Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Mini Reviews: New Releases Edition


There are so many great books that have recently come out; my TBR pile is overflowing. I read these two new releases and really enjoyed both of them. Have you read them? Both books are being optioned for TV, which is really exciting!

Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: March 7, 2023
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 
Goodreads says, "
It is an ordinary Monday and harried London literary agent Emma is flying out of the door as usual. Preoccupied with work and her ever growing to-do list, she fails to notice her lovely husband Dan seems bereft, her son can barely meet her eye, and her daughter won’t go near her. Even the dog seems sad. She is far too busy, buried deep in her phone; social media alerts pinging; clients messaging with “emergencies”; keeping track of a dozen WhatsApp groups about the kids’ sports, school, playdates, all of it. Her whole day is frantic—what else is new—and as she rushes back through the door for dinner, Dan is still upset. They fight, and he walks out, desolate, dragging their poor dog around the block. Just as she realizes it is their anniversary and she has forgotten, again, she hears the screech of brakes. Dan is dead. The next day Emma wakes up… and Dan is alive. And it’s Monday again. And again. And again. Emma tries desperately to change the course of fate by doing different things each time she wakes up: leaving WhatsApp, telling her boss where to get off, writing to Dan, listening to her kids, reaching out to forgotten friends, getting drunk and buying out Prada. But will Emma have the chance to find herself again, remember what she likes about her job, reconnect with her children, love her husband? Will this be enough to change the fate they seem destined for? A moving “What if” story of what it is to be a woman in the modern world—never feeling we’re getting it quite right—about learning to slow down and appreciate life that is sure to resonate with women’s fiction fans."
Emma is a literary agent in London and is busy with the demands of her career, motherhood, and all that comes with raising two children in a busy city. She is starting to let the needs of her family slip away and even forgets to celebrate the anniversary of when she met Dan, her husband. This is something they always celebrate with letters to one another, but Emma forgot as, like most mothers, she has a lot on her plate. Things take a turn for the worse when Dan unexpectedly dies and obviously, this turns Emma's world upside down. All those meetings, work emails, and volunteering she did don't seem so important now. However, she has another chance. When she wakes up the next day, Dan is alive. Does she have a chance to fix things or is this Dan's fate? Is she destined to live this excruciating day over and over again? Cesca Major's Maybe Next Time is a thoughtful and heart wrenching read about family, love, and living a mindful life.

Maybe Next Time truly resonated with me, much more than I thought it would. Emma's journey was reminiscent of Groundhog Day and it was a good reminder to live a more mindful life. So much of our days are filled with rushing here and there, attending this meeting, taking our kids to an activity, emailing back a coworker, that we forget to stop and look around and appreciate life and our loved ones. Maybe Next Time reminds us of this and while Emma's journey was hard at times to read, I was completely caught up in her story and was hoping she find a way out. The book truly makes you think. What would you do if you were Emma? Maybe Next Time is going to be made into a movie as it was picked up by Reese Witherspoon's company and I can't wait to see it! I may need a box of tissues though. If you like heartfelt novels with a touch of magical realism, pick this book up this spring!

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
Pub. Date: March 7, 2023
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected, carefully guarded, old-money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and inheritance for motherhood, sacrificing more of herself than she ever intended. Sasha, middle-class and from New England, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider, wondering how she might ever understand their WASP-y ways. Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t (and really shouldn’t) have and must confront the kind of person she wants to be. Rife with the indulgent pleasures of life among New York’s one-percenters, Pineapple Street is a smart escapist novel that sparkles with wit. It’s about the peculiar unknowability of someone else’s family, the miles between the haves and have-nots and everything in between, and the insanity of first love."

Sasha has married into the wealthy Stockton family and now lives in the Stockton family's massive house in Brooklyn Heights. While she recognizes the extreme privilege she has by living here, she can't help but feeling like she lives in some version of Grey Gardens. There's antiques at every turn, itchy sofas, overpowering drapes, the remnants of the Stockton family in each room, and she can't redecorate like she'd want to. Despite signing a prenup, Darley and Georgiana, her sisters-in-law, refer to her as a gold digger. Darley met her husband, Malcolm, in business school, and has left the corporate world to raise her two children. She is navigating life as a stay-at-home mom and dealing with Malcom's extreme demands in the business world of aviation. Then there's Georgiana, the youngest of the Stocktons, who is single and is considered a do-gooder for working at a non-profit organization. While there, Georgiana forms a crush on one of her coworkers and their relationship changes her. The Stockton family wouldn't be complete without the matriarch, Tilda, who is filled with biting comments, boring small talk, tennis matches, designer clothing, and issues that plague the 1%.  If you love a good family drama about entitled New York families, Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson is it. It reminded me of Succession, but with more heart.
Each chapter is told from a different point of view, either Sasha, Darley or Georgiana, in Pineapple Street. Each woman is dealing with different issues at this point in their lives with Sasha desperately trying to fit in. Her background is different than the Stocktons, so she never quite assimilates into their world despite her recent accomplishments. Each Stockton sibling has a trust that they can live off of, except Darley, who gave hers up for her children as her husband makes enough money as it is and he did not sign a prenup. However, things start to go awry for Sasha, Darley, and Georgiana in their own way and the problems test who they are and what they believe in. I loved all the family drama and it was a fun glimpse into the 1% and their (cue my eye rolling!) rich people problems. Pineapple Street is an indulging debut that will make for an interesting TV show for sure.  
So, have you read Maybe Next Time or Pineapple Street? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Maybe Next Time is one I'm really looking forward to. I love time loop novels!

    1. Me too! This one was great! I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I found Pineapple Street only okay. The mother was my favorite character. She was unapologetic about her wealth and lifestyle. But I will look for Maybe Next Time in the spring.


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